President Niinistö at the funeral of the last Knight of the Cross of Mannerheim: “We thank, we respect, we remember”
The funeral of the last Knight of the Cross of Mannerheim, Tuomas Gerdt .
At the beginning of the Continuation War, he served as a courier in Lappeenranta with the rank of junior officer. He received the Mannerheim Cross for his bravery in battle in 1942.
The president, commander-in-chief of the Defense Forces Sauli Niinistö also took part in the funeral. He praised Gerdt’s contribution to the defense of the fatherland.
– The era of Mannerheim’s knights is over, but their legacy remains. Finland’s post-war success story is unique. We are able to withstand difficulties and believe in overcoming them. By willful effort we protect our values and our country. For all this, Cavalier Tuomas Gerdt, we thank, we respect, we remember.
Flags were lowered all over the country as a sign of respect.
The Mannerheim Cross is a special award of the Finnish Order of the Cross of Liberty, which appeared after the Winter War (1939-1940), named after the Marshal of Finland Carl Gustav Mannerheim . In the Continuation War (1941-1944), 191 Finnish soldiers were awarded this award.